May 1, 2003

1. Is there a subject that makes you cry everytime you think/talk about it?


Yes, but thats for me and my therapist to know.


2. What's your favorite indie film?


Hard to tell what passes for indie these days. But of recent years HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH seemed the most successful at capturing that big movie on a low budget feel. A tremendous heart-felt, exciting film that feels like what Bob Fosse would be going off and making if he were still around today. John Cameron Mitchell created a true, unique, brave work of art with this film. Plus  it ROCKS!


3. So, Colorado, Connecticut, Chicago, California, Canada...what's with all the "C" places? Have you ever lived somewhere that didn't somehow begin with "C"?


I lived in New Jersey very briefly and the only C in New Jersey is when people say C? I told you that smell was Newark.


4. If you could be any Disney character which would you be and why?


I know yall want me to say "Eeyore", but Id have to go with "Aladdin". I mean hes got ALL those wishes to use AND that fine-ass carpet to squire his lady around town on. Damn! Or in Annie-speak: SHINY!


5. What motto do your live your life by?


Never take yourself too seriously.


6. What's the most fun scene you ever did on QAF?


Hmmm  there have been so many. There was a scene in the first season though where Peter, Gale, Hal and I were in the jeep on a road trip singin like dopes and eatin Pringles and drinkin orange soda  wait, was that a scene in the show or part of a DVD tour  no it was a scene. Yeah, that was fun.


7. I wondered if you receive a lot in the way of gifts, etc. If so - could you tell us about some that stick out in your mind?


Well, this brings up an interesting topic. I do receive gifts from fans and I am very grateful for them and appreciate the we want to give something back to you because youve given so much to us sentiment. I honestly do. But the truth is it makes me REALLY uncomfortable and Ill try to explain why. Im fortunate enough to love what Im doing and after a long time as an actor I am finally earning a very nice living. If there are things I really want Im finally able to actually buy them and thats great. A lot of the fans of our lil show arent as financially well off as I am lucky to be right now and Im just not comfortable with them spending their hard-earned money on ME  a complete stranger. (So you know, Im not comfortable getting gifts from my closest friends and family either. Ask my mom about the hell she has to go through to get a Gift Request list out of me every December) I mean, HELL the fans are already forking over a heap of cash to get Showtime or the DVD/Videos. I would much rather they say: Youve given so much to me that I wanted to give something back to you  so I went out and got myself this new watch in your honor. THAT would make me A LOT more comfortable.


8. What is with all of the new hairdos on QAF? Season 3 is supposed to be like a week or something after Season 2 ended... so how did everyone's hair get so long - and highlighted?


Actually Season 3 starts later that night of the Season 2 ender. Well, the deal with the new dos is that we got a new wonderful Hair Guru on our show whose name is Clara DiNunzio. An AMAZING stylist and I think we all look better than we ever have thanks to her. Now the difficulty she faced when we came back to start season 3 is that A.) wed been away from shooting for 6 months so our hair was different lengths and shades than at the end of season 2 and b.) as an artist she had very different visions for our looks than the previous two seasons. 


She did her best recreate the old look and to weave (no pun intended) the new hairstyle in as slowly as she could. Very difficult to recreate someone elses work when it comes to hairstyles, I think. But this kind of thing happens on EVERY show after they come back from a hiatus. I mean, TRY and keep up with the different dos on FRIENDS for Petes sake.


9. When I went to acting school, the subject of "breaking into the business" was brought up a lot and the "advice" of my teachers was pretty grim: to have someone in the family is in show business or that there's another kind of relationship that is only appropriate for late night cable television. And there seems to be a glaring ommission from media detailing how actors switch over from being working joes wih a theatre jones to becoming those who are in the same tax bracket as God. You've seem to have broken in without having a connection of the sort, so I'm dying to know what it is that you had to achieve/endure to get to where you are now?


Theres no real easy answer to this question. Its part of the mystery of this arbitrary business. I think Ive quoted the producer Robert Evans on this before, but he says that Luck is when opportunity meets preparation. Ive been very lucky. I honestly cant attribute my particular success at the moment to anything more than always trying to go out and do my best when it comes to acting and trying to stay true to myself in the process. Of course Ive seen others achieve success a lot quicker than I have by behaving in a manner that Im just not comfortable with, but Ive also had the inspiration of other outsiders (in Chicago, if you didnt go to school at Northwestern or DePaul or any other Illinois school you were a complete outsider when you start) like me who just stuck with it, showed appreciation to those who offered to help along the way and could always back up their belief in themselves with their acting. Believe me when I say there were many years in Chicago where the frustration I felt in not being in the inner circle of hot-shot, always employed actors there (because casting directors or agents or directors thought my range was limited or I wasnt rock and roll enough or whatever held me back from being a superstar there) drove me to tears. Fortunately there were enough friends and colleagues around me who never let me forget that they believed in me and it was their opinions that mattered most and kept me going. Like I said I have been VERY lucky.


10. It seems to me that the promotional public appearances by the QAF cast are rather excessive compared to those of other television shows. (In fact, I don't recall reading of any DVD signings, etc. for Buffy, Six Feet Under, etc., tho I may have missed them, as I am "old" and not interested in attending.) I know that you and some of the other cast members are enthusiastic supporters of QAF and readily avail yourselves when needed. But I am interested in your take on this subject.


Another tough question. What a month. Good thing Im on hiatus. We ABSOLUTELY do a lot more signings than most shows because Showtime is banking heavily on the DVD/Video sales to make up for all of yall who are watching the show in bars and at parties and not subscribing to their network  Im kidding  kind of. Look, I am very proud of the show and have been very happy to promote it and to give back to the fans for supporting us during the first two seasons. But to be honest, as Lisa-Marie said to Michael Jackson on their honeymoon: The Thrill is Gone. Certain events I dont mind but when it gets to these huge rock star kind of events  I have a hard time with them. Its an overwhelming experience and it is quite exhausting to give back THAT much energy when its coming at you for 3 or 4 hours straight. So especially while were in the midst of shooting, its asking WAY too much of us to go out on our days off and do these things. Plus, it jeopardizes whats truly important: our performances on screen. I became ill after the D.C. weekend (no, not with SARS) and had no time to heal while in Detroit and that made scenes that I was in the middle of shooting, which were already difficult to begin with, that much harder to get right. On a personal note, I just dont feel like I fit in at these screaming/crying festivals anyway. I didnt become an actor to be a rock star and after enduring too many occasions of fans so captivated by the (shall we say) sexier characters/actors/actresses on our show that they walk right by me or dont even look at me while I sign something for them (cause they're staring at the cast-mate next to me)  well, lets just say it doesnt make me feel like Wow, this person REALLY thinks Im a terrific actor. Ted is not a rock star character so within the marketing and fan dynamics of the show there are times when he gets the shaft  and not in the way he likes  and after living with this guy for three years its often hard not to take this all personally. Does that make sense? I hope so. Anyway, Im going to try and be more selective in terms of what events I attend in the future (I will not be at the LA Perry Ellis/Details signing for instance) so that I can be sure I will feel comfortable enough to show just how much I truly do appreciate ALL the wonderful fans of QAF and mine. Sniff, sniff ... I just got myself all teary. Sniff.

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